(AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Steve Spurrier has long been against the Confederate Flag flying at the State House in South Carolina, so it came as no surprise when he said at SEC Media Days Tuesday he was happy to see it finally come down on July 10.“It was a tragedy, obviously, nine innocent people to be killed like that,” Spurrier said, referring to the racially motivated shooting at a Charleston church last month that left nine African Americans dead.
“I applaud our Governor for setting the initiative to remove the flag, and obviously it was received very well by just about everyone in our state and around the country. Obviously, all of us in college sports, we know the importance of equality, race relations, everybody getting along. So certainly, I think all the coaches all over – I know all over South Carolina was happy and glad to see the flag come down.”
Spurrier had voiced opposition to the flag’s presence at the Capitol dating back to 2007.
“I realize I’m not supposed to get in the political arena as a football coach, but if anybody were ever to ask me about that damn Confederate flag, I would say we need to get rid of it,” Spurrier said at the time. “I’ve been told not to talk about that. But if anyone were ever to ask me about it, I certainly wish we could get rid of it.”
South Carolina governor Nikki Haley signed legislation last week that permanently removed the Confederate flag from South Carolina’s Capitol grounds.
Now that the flag has been removed, the NCAA announced that South Carolina could bid to host future NCAA championships in the state.
“We commend South Carolina lawmakers for taking this action to remove the Confederate flag from the Capitol grounds,” Kirk Schulz, NCAA Board of Governors chair and Kansas State University president, said in a statement. “For nearly 15 years we have specifically protested the flag by not allowing states like South Carolina to host pre-selected NCAA championships. With this impending change, and consistent with our policy, South Carolina may bid to host future NCAA championships once the flag no longer flies at the State House grounds.”
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